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Towson preschool goes back to nature with new 'play space'

 In this article with The Baltimore Sun, Davey Tree's Baltimore office is mentioned for its involvement in creating the new play space.

Posted: Sept. 22, 2015  

By Larry Perl

Allison Bond is worried that today's children are victims of an environmental malaise — a lost connection with nature.

Bond remembers climbing trees and playing outside when she was growing up, but nowadays, she thinks children are too tied to their electronic devices and are afraid of taking risks and getting hurt.

"It's an epidemic," she said. "Children need to get outside and play. We need to get kids off those computers and back outside."

Toward that end, Bond, executive director of the Brown Memorial Weekday School, a preschool in Rodgers Forge, has added a nature component to its curriculum, including creating a nature-themed play area that will be dedicated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday, Sept. 18.

Using a $10,000 "Green Grant" from Baltimore Gas & Electric Co., the Weekday School — which is affiliated with Brown Memorial Woodbrook Presbyterian Church but is not a religious school — has reinvented its former playground as a "play space," designed to get children back to nature.

We took out the old, very traditional-looking playground equipment and replaced it with logs for climbing and stumps for jumping," Bond said. Rather than having children do "prescribed play" in a traditional playground, "We wanted them to come up with their own ideas."

The school has had a lot of help. Davey Tree workers and the parents of the school's 104 children helped haul in large logs that children can use as anything from climbing structures to "houses" with blankets thrown over the logs, Bond said. 

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